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White Andalusian horse with wild temperament running through the field

Andalusian Horse Temperament: The Andalusian Horse Breed Personality

Andalusian horses, also known as the Pure Spanish Horse, are descended from the Sorraia horses of the Iberian Peninsula and North African horses brought to Iberia by the Phoenicians and Celts around 900 BC.

For thousands of years, Andalusian horses have been beloved by their riders and prized for their incredible Andalusian horse personality.

So if you are crazy enough about your Andalusian horse breed to wear these horse shirts seven days a week, then you might just be crazy enough to want to read all of these facts about Andalusian horse temperament.

A Courageous Spirit

In Spain, there is a form of bullfighting where the bullfighter takes on the bull in the ring from horseback.

The horse is an Andalusian, the breed of horse with cat-like reflexes and an undaunted spirit even in the face of a charging, angry bull. It is a courage that made them beloved by Spanish cowboys working their lonely ranges and cavalry soldiers throughout history.

The brave spirit of Andalusian horses was prized by many warriors when they were cavalry horses of the Greeks, the Romans, William the Conqueror of England, and the Conquistadors who overran the New World.

These horses, which were initially kept for use in warfare and exploration, later won the hearts of kings and other members of the aristocracy and contributed to the development of the local culture. These Spanish stallions are agile and offer a smooth ride.

In 1667 the Duke of Newcastle wrote about the Andalusian breed "If well-chosen, it is the noblest horse in the world, the most beautiful that can be. He is of great spirit and of great courage and docile."

Incredible Intelligence

Horse trotting across a field in the middle of the day

It is a known fact by many who ride and love these horses that they are very smart. Much of that comes from their history, as a horse would survive and fight much better when they are intelligent enough to understand their training and use it to keep themselves and their riders alive even in the perils of battle.

It was their intellect, as well as their courage, that made them so beloved of noble riders throughout history and caused Napoleon to attempt to take them all during his conquests of Europe. No ruler could resist horse breeds with brains as well as bravery.

Today, that intelligence makes them darlings of many show rings and dressage competitions, as the horses seem to love learning new things as much as their owners love to teach them.

Excellent Dressage Horses Who Love to Perform

Back in the day, their equestrian fighting skills aided Sparta’s victory over Athens. So just think, when your Andalusian makes a really cool move in dressage, your horse’s hundred-time great grandfather’s same brave spirit was doing the same thing while the Spartans were fighting the Athenians.

The Andalusian breed, the Lipizzaner, and the Lusitano are among the rare horse breeds with the strength in their hindquarters to perform High Dressage, and the other breeds gained that ability from mixing with Andalusians long ago.

They have a natural movement, are quick and agile, and are simple to train. Their ability to perform dressage reflects well on their overall temperament, which is a desire to please and perform at their very best.

Spanish riders on Andalusian horses frequently won medals in international events, exposing more of Europe to the grace and beauty of these Spanish horses, which quickly became known as the "Royal Horse of Europe."

Fact Four: Surprisingly Calm Demeanor

Gentle Andalusian horse standing with a blurred background

For a horse with so much spirit and courage, many people would expect Andalusian horses to be feisty or hard to handle. However, they are often spoken of with respect for their amazingly calm demeanor, even in the face of a dangerous bull or the shouting, excited crowds of equestrian competition.

Again, this trait has been bred into them over a long history of working closely with their riders and owners, even in very dangerous or challenging situations.

William Shakespeare described the Andalusians almost perfectly when he wrote in Henry V, "he is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts."

Even Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, spoke well of the Andalusian horse, declaring that their region is “the origin of the best horses in the world.” Few owners of these beautiful, intelligent, and brave horses would disagree with him.

The Andalusian horse temperament is a rare combination among horses and something to be treasured by all who have them. They are incredibly adaptable, making it a good mount for driving, classical dressage, jumping, trail riding, Western and English pleasure, as well as pleasure sports.

Did You Know?

  • The Andalusians later influenced numerous European horse breeds. The Hanoverian, Holstein, Oldenburg, Gelderland, Knabstrupper, and Thoroughbred breeds are a few examples.
  • The Association of Purebred Spanish Horse Breeders of Spain and the Andalusian Horse Association of Australasia adhere to the minimum height requirements set by the Spanish government of 15.0 hands (60 inches, 152 cm) for males and 14.3 hands (59 inches, 150 cm) for mares.
  • Andalusian cave paintings trace their existence up to 30,000 BC.
  • The Andalusian horse breed has been well-known in the sport of dressage since King Philip II established the Andalusians' riding academy at the Royal Stables.
  • The breeding of Andalusians was overseen by monks, who used selective breeding to create a distinct breed with definite traits by the 15th century.
  • Andalusian horses can dance. The Royal Training Academy in Spain is where the dancing tradition began.

How To Manage The Andalusian Horse Temperament

Black Andalusian horse running across a field

Managing an Andalusian horse’s temperament requires patience and experience. These sensitive horses demand a gentle, experienced hand. If you’re new to the breed, here are some tips to help you along:

  1. Spend plenty of time with your Andalusian. These social horses thrive on interaction and bonding with their owners. Grooming, hand walking, and just hanging out together will help strengthen your connection and build trust.

  2. Use positive reinforcement training. Harsh discipline will only make an Andalusian resentful and stubborn. Instead, use praise, treats, and rewards to motivate your horse during training. Keep lessons short and fun. You should also read up and consult good horse training books for these sessions.

  3. Be consistent and confident. Don’t let your Andalusian get away with bad behavior, but also avoid overreacting to small transgressions. Remain calm, set clear rules, and follow through with fair consequences when those rules are broken. Your confidence will help keep your Andalusian feeling secure.

  4. Give your Andalusian plenty of turnout and exercise. Andalusians are athletic horses and need room to move and run. Keeping them cooped up in a stall for long periods can lead to behavioral issues. Provide access to a large pasture, or turn your horse out daily for free exercise.

  5. Be patient through challenges. Andalusians can go through periods of testing behavior, especially for a new owner. Don’t get frustrated - stay patient and consistent. Challenging phases will pass as your horse comes to understand your leadership and guidance.

With time and practice, you'll get better at bringing out the best in your Andalusian’s temperament. The reward will be a loyal equine partner with a kind and willing heart.


Are Andalusians good for beginners?

Yes, Andalusians are generally docile, gentle, and easygoing horses. They tend to be patient, calm, and responsive, making them an excellent choice for beginners and amateur riders.

How much do Andalusians cost?

Andalusian horse prices can range from $10,000 up to $50,000 or more for a top-quality, registered purebred. The exact price will depend on the horse's age, training, breeding, and location.

In general, you can expect to pay between $15,000 to $30,000 for a healthy, registered Andalusian gelding that's ready to be ridden.

What are Andalusians used for?

Andalusians are very versatile horses. They are commonly used for:

  • Dressage: Their movement, stamina, and athleticism make them well-suited for dressage.

  • Trail riding: Their gentle and willing temperament makes them great trail horses.

  • Western riding: Andalusians can also be used for western riding and make wonderful ranch horses.

  • Driving: Some Andalusians are trained to drive carriages and carts.

  • Showing: Andalusians are popular for showing horses and competing in halter, performance, and riding classes.

The Andalusian horse has unparalleled beauty, intelligence, athleticism, and stamina. If you're looking for a willing and versatile partner, the Andalusian may be the perfect horse for you!

Want to know more about horses? Check out Nine Interesting Appaloosa Horse Facts.

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